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Chris Rene

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Chris Rene, (28, Santa Cruz, CA) stunned the judges and audience of X Factor alike with a rendition of his original melodic hip-hop track “Young Homie.” Songfacts reports that his rendition earned him a standing ovation from the audience and three of the four judges. Rene was mentored by Epic Records CEO L.A. Reid during the competition’s live shows and sang “Young Homie” again during the final. He finished third overall in the competition.

Not only did Chris show off some undeniable talent, he also brings a compelling backstory. The trash collector, who on the day of his audition had been sober for 70 days, is a guy trying to make ends meet and do right by his young son. Aw!

That’s not all there is to know about Chris, though. Here’s what else we were able to dig up on him through careful Internet stalki—errr, research.

Musical talent runs in the family. His grandfather, Leon Rene, was a songwriter back in the 30’s - 50’s — his most famous composition is probably “Rockin’ Robin.” Leon’s son, Chris’s father Rafael “Googie” Rene, was a moderately successful jazz and soul singer in the 50’s and 60’s. These days, Chris’s sister Gina and brother Gabriel are both members of an electronica group called Soulstice.

He has an album on iTunes! Soul’d Out, which was released in 2009, shows that Chris has more than one great song in him. With a little polish from the Factor, dude’s got definite potential for success.

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